Saturday, January 07, 2017

The Effect of Social Media #hate

Let me start off by saying … I don’t care who you voted for. Trump, Clinton, Stein or Snoopy; it really doesn’t matter to me. Before you ask … yes I voted. Am I going to tell you who it was? Absolutely not.

Why? Because it doesn’t matter and it’s not relevant to what I have to say.

Today it was all over the news that four young black adults tortured a mentally challenged white 18 year old and actually streamed it live on Facebook hoping it would go “viral”. I'm sure they believed they believed that there were many people that would cheer for them. In the footage, one of the four suspects screamed, “F--k white people!” and “F--k Donald Trump!” A second video, released Thursday, showed the attackers forcing the teen’s head down inside a toilet bowl, making him drink the water inside.

Like it or not, you can blame this one on all the hateful rhetoric going on in social media. Yes, there are other issues at play here; bad environment, bad parenting and a bad family unit. You can even say I’m stretching. But even if I am, it’s not by much.

I say social media is putting it over the edge. It’s a constant chatter of negative rhetoric and name calling. It’s coming from people they know, people they don’t know, people they respect and famous people.

Here is what people of color, women and the LGBT community are hearing:
  • “If you voted for Trump you are a misogynist, racist, homophobe”
  • “The reason Trump won the election is that white people voted for him”
In the beginning Trump’s candidacy was discounted as a “publicity stunt”. Then once he received the Republican party’s nomination he was dismissed as being “unqualified for the job”. Finally about a month out when it appeared that even though Clinton was ahead and it could be close, the name calling started. What made this name calling different from the name calling in the past was not only was Trump a “misogynist, racist, homophobe”; the narrative became that if a person voted for Trump, they were too.

It drove Trump voters underground where they patiently waited for election day. I would submit to you that driving them underground actually strengthened their resolve to vote for Trump.

Trump’s win only made the situation worse. Instead of the negative rhetoric dying down, it’s now been amplified … against those who voted for Trump. It solidly takes blame off of the Clinton campaign, because someone had to be held responsible. It’s also an accusation that covers EVERYTHING.
  • If you’re a white male, you could be all three
  • If you are a white female you could be a racist and homophobe
  • If you are a male person of color, you could be a misogynist homophobe
  • If you are a female person of color, you could be a homophobe
The beauty of this accusation is you can’t prove you’re not what you’re being called. Deny it and you have just verified it in their minds. Because even if you’ve never done anything misogynistic, racist, or homophobic there is no way you can prove you don’t secretly AGREE or SUPPORT these ideals. After all how can you prove to anyone what is inside your head. You are automatically guilty based on your gender or race.

The phrase “misogynist, racist, homophobe” has been used to describe Trump voters so often that it is now almost accepted as fact. In addition to that, after the election another reason for Clinton's lost was added. It was because Trump received the majority of the “white vote”. Which is true, but not in numbers much different than any Republican candidate before him. I think it’s common knowledge that the ambivalence of the Democratic base was the reason Trump won.

I believe that for people that are not Caucasian the statements “If you voted for Trump you are a misogynist, racist, homophobe” and “The reason Trump won the election is that white people voted for him” have been combined. What is not being heard is “if you’re white, you probably voted for Trump which means you are probably a misogynist, racist, homophobe”. If you think this is not possible all I have to do it point out that most people of color believe that if you're white, you're probably a racist. The same goes for many women. Many do not believe that men really believe that woman are equals.

So all of you that are blowing up your and your friends social networks with these accusations, you’re just making things worse. You need to stop. Eventually this is going to turn into real violence. And like or not, that violence is going to be against white people. There is a segment of our society that already feels depressed and all they need is a target. These accusations are developing that target for them.

Mark my words … the day IS coming. Soon there will be news about some white person that is beaten to a pulp by a group that “assumed” that person voted for Trump. You will have no one to blame but yourselves and there won’t be any turning back …

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